Well, the last time I posted, we were just finishing with Christmas and getting ready for New Years Eve and anxiously waiting to visit with good friends Dick and Karla from Minnesota. They are stopping by on their way to their winter spot in Bradenton, Florida. We visited with them this time last year while we were at the Escapees park in Wauchula, Florida. Anyway, the clubhouse was busy again on Boxing Day with a pot luck dinner with all of the favorites from Christmas dinner but Barb & I stayed away, we went to the show instead to see War Horse. It was a good flick and also nice not being so busy!
Thursday, Barb needed some supplies for an upcoming project so we took off after lunch and ran some errands and hit the fabric store! We had planned this trip so we could head over to Bellingrath Gardens to view the Christmas light display which has been reported as the best ever! Naturally, you just know Barb took her camera and I have posted some pictures but as good as they are, they do not show justice to the display of 3 million lights and over 900 separate light strings and 14 different themes! It was simply awesome! Apparently, the staff starts decorating right after Labor Day to have the display ready for the Thanksgiving! It looked like a lot of hard work to put up and maintain but it sure brought in a lot of visitors. We thought being so late in the Christmas season, the crowds would be minimal. Wrong! We do not understand why so many people are always in a rush to ‘run’ through a display such as this! I can’t count how many times we were pushed or bumped by others as they jockeyed for position or rushed to pass by! Tourists!
Here we are on Friday morning and our prepaid cell has just run out of days and we have no way for Dick & Karla to contact us when they arrive! Yikes, it’s not as if the phone doesn’t tell me, I was pivoting around as to whether to change carriers since we have not been happy with the Net10 service! So, a quick dash out to WalMart to check into ‘to change or not to change’! After some discussion with the sales folks, we change to Tracfone (both are run by the same company). It has better features for us so we’ll see! Upon activation, we find it is also a bit cheaper, we got 800 minutes and 425 days for $100! That means no more number changes and no more waiting until the new sim card arrives for service every time we come south! Anyway, we transfer the number so Karla can call us! Whew and just in time as we hear from them about 1ish! They arrive and after a tour of our new site and shed, we settle down for some serious ‘catch up chat’! They’ve had 3 full days of travel (1500+ miles) so the evening ends early after dinner even without a game of Wizard (Karla’s favorite) with plans for tomorrow!
This is the second time we have celebrated New Years Eve with Dick & Karla. We toured around the area and had lunch at the Fish River Grill – I still think they ruined the ambiance when they put wood floors in! We were late having dinner and for the party at the clubhouse but had fun anyway. Auld Lang Syne was sang at 9PM – it must have been midnight somewhere – and we had 10 of us back to the rig for the remainder of the party. Unfortunately, I was to tune the satellite into New York so we could watch Times Square and ring in the new year – well, I mistakenly tuned to a west coast channel and we missed it! Can you say oppsss? I was not the most popular guy in the rig! A good time anyway, being with friends!
January 1st brings all the polar bear dippers out here except it’s called ‘The Dipstick Dip’! At high noon, we – yes, I said we all walked, jumped or dove into the pool and received an ‘Official Dipstick’ certificate for ‘braving the cold (65F) water under a stressful 69F air temperature! After, we all went inside for soup and chili! We had lots of fun and friendship to start the New Year. Down here in the south, it is common to all gather for a serving of ‘Hopping Jon’ with corn bread for lunch for good luck for the upcoming year! So, it was a busy Sunday, dipsticking, soup and chili, hopping jon and then the ice cream social (yes John, more ice cream) – all in a couple of hours! After we finish filling our emaciating bodies, the four of us settle back to our rig for a round of Wizard! Kara says “finally”! As darkness settles in, we drive over to Fairhope to take in the tree lights that adorn the downtown streets of this cute town and then – well, you guessed it, out for dinner! What a day and we were lucky enough to share it with such good friends as Dick & Karla. 2012 is just going to be great!
We hope you were able to start off the New Year with family or friends and we wish you the very best through 2012.